Yearbooks

Programme: BSocSci Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
01130056 Faculty of Humanities Minimum duration of study: 3 years Total credits: 434
Contact:
Prof EB Ruttkamp
[email protected]
+27 (0)124202694

Programme information

The purpose of this programme is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge and analytical understanding of contemporary political and economic issues. All three disciplines – political science, philosophy, and economics – focus on the social world and social phenomena, each from a different perspective. Economics focuses on the production of goods (why, how, and what is produced) and the consequences of such production to society (who benefits). Political Science focuses on political processes and governance issues such as decision-making. Philosophy equips students with analytical reasoning skills necessary to understand and solve complex moral problems related to economic and political decision-making. The result of combining these perspectives is that students are equipped with an understanding of the moral issues influencing human agency in economic and political contexts. A PPE qualification is an internationally recognised ‘brand’, respected for its rigorous training, that immediately gives students entrance into a variety of careers related to economic or political policy making, from journalism to diplomatic service. This qualification will enable students, once they are employed in the public or private sector, to respond in a sensitive, rational, and innovative manner to moral problems and challenges within their politico-economic context.

Admission requirements

  • Candidates are advised to apply early, due to limited space availability in all programmes. As soon as a programme reaches its full capacity, applications of the specific programme will be closed before the official closing date.
  • The following candidates will be considered for admission:
  1. A candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement; a candidate who is a graduate from another recognised tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution; and a candidate who is a graduate of another faculty at the University of Pretoria
  1. Candidates who have completed the National Senior Certificate with admission to degree studies or a certificate of conditional exemption on the basis of a candidate’s non-South African (“foreign”) qualifications, the so-called “Immigrant” or “Foreign Conditional Exemption”. The only condition for the “Foreign Conditional Exemption” that is accepted is: ‘completion of the degree course’. The exemption certificate is obtainable from Universities South Africa (USAf). Detailed information is available on the website at mb.usaf.ac.za.
  • To retain admission, learners will be expected to obtain an APS of at least 32 in Grade 12.
  • The NBT is not applicable to this programme.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Only students who indicated this programme as their first choice on the application form, will be considered. 
  • Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS.?
  • The language of communication and correspondence is English only.
  • For more information, please consult the Faculty yearbook on the UP website.
  • Note: The A and IB HL levels are not included in the APS Conversion Table. Faculty requirements for admission based on these equivalent international qualifications are a D for the A level and 4 for the IB HL level.
  • Non-NSC candidates who have already completed the equivalent of Grade 12, are advised to submit their Exemption certificates obtained from USAf (www.usaf.ac.za) along with their applications.
  • Non-NSC candidates who do not have English Language in Grade 12 are advised to write the NBT or submit their SAT results. Please note that English Literature is not considered as a substitute for English language.

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

APS

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

5

C

5

C

32

Candidates will be expected to achieve an APS of at least 32 in Grade 12 to retain admission.

The NBT is not applicable to this programme.

*  Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.

Other programme-specific information

 

  • The ALL modules are excluded due to the high AP Score (32) required.
  • Students who consider doing an honours degree in Economics should consult the student administration of EMS to determine which additional modules they should include in their study programme in order to meet the entry requirements for BComHons in Economics.

Minimum credits: 120

Elective modules: Year 1
Select any two semester modules (one per semester) from the same discipline at yr- level 1 to the credit value of at least 20 credits (if selected from Economic and Management Sciences) or 24 credits (if selected from Humanities).

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    This module deals with the core principles of economics. A distinction between macroeconomics and microeconomics is made. A discussion of the market system and circular flow of goods, services and money is followed by a section dealing with microeconomic principles, including demand and supply analysis, consumer behaviour and utility maximisation, production and the costs thereof, and the different market models and firm behaviour. Labour market institutions and issues, wage determination, as well as income inequality and poverty are also addressed. A section of money, banking, interest rates and monetary policy concludes the course.

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  • Module content:

    This module deals with the core principles of economics, especially macroeconomic measurement the private and public sectors of the South African economy receive attention, while basic macroeconomic relationships and the measurement of domestic output and national income are discussed. Aggregate demand and supply analysis stands core to this course which is also used to introduce students to the analysis of economic growth, unemployment and inflation. The microeconomics of government is addressed in a separate section, followed by a section on international economics, focusing on international trade, exchange rates and the balance of payments. The economics of developing countries and South Africa in the global economy conclude the course.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to Philosophy

    The two semester modules at first-year level introduce students to four main subfields of philosophy, namely metaphysics, epistemology, ontology and ethics. This module introduces students to two of these subfields, namely epistemology and metaphysics with reference to the work of a range of scholars from the Global South and the West. Students will become acquainted with the nature of philosophical reflection by exploring a number of classical philosophical themes in each subfield. Throughout the module there is an emphasis on developing those critical thinking, reading and writing skills that are required in Philosophy, while students become acquainted with the power of critique as critical judgment and discernment.

     

     

     

     

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to Philosophy

    The two semester modules at first-year level introduce students to four main subfields of philosophy, namely metaphysics, epistemology, ontology and ethics. This module introduces students to two of these subfields, namely ontology and ethics and the emphasis is on texts by African and Western scholars. Students will become acquainted with the nature of philosophical reflection by exploring a number of classical philosophical themes in each subfield. Throughout the module there is an emphasis on developing those critical thinking, reading and writing skills that are required in Philosophy, while students become acquainted with the power of critique as critical judgment and discernment.

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  • Module content:

    An introduction to the study of organised political society at national and international levels with specific reference to political concepts, approaches and methods. The emphasis is on state and governance as frameworks for analysis in light of the salient changes brought about at national and international levels by globalisation. Attention is paid to the corresponding dynamics of regime development, performance and change at national and international levels considering increasing challenges to national sovereignty from within and without states in a context of a growing global agenda dealing with transnational issues and challenges, such as the environment, human rights, development and humanitarian intervention.

     

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  • Module content:

    Descriptive statistics:
    Sampling and the collection of data; frequency distributions and graphical representations. Descriptive measures of location and dispersion.
    Probability and inference:
    Introductory probability theory and theoretical distributions. Sampling distributions. Estimation theory and hypothesis testing of sampling averages and proportions (one and two-sample cases). Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Multivariate statistics:
    Analysis of variance, categorical data analysis, distribution-free methods, curve fitting, regression and correlation, the analysis of time series and indices.
    Statistical and economic applications of quantitative techniques:
    Systems of linear equations: drafting, matrices, solving and application. Optimisation; linear functions (two and more independent variables), non-linear functions (one and two independent variables). Marginal and total functions. Stochastic and deterministic variables in statistical and economic context: producers' and consumers' surplus, distribution functions, probability distributions, probability density functions. Identification, use, evaluation, interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.
    This module is also presented as an anti-semester bilingual module.

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Minimum credits: 152

Students should choose ONE of the following two sequences of Economics modules in Year 2: EKN 214/234 or EKN 224/244.

Students should choose ONE of the following two sequences of Political Sciences modules in Year 2: IPL 210/220 or STL 210/220.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Macroeconomics
    From Wall and Bay Street to Diagonal Street: a thorough understanding of the mechanisms and theories explaining the workings of the economy is essential. Macroeconomic insight is provided on the real market, the money market, two market equilibrium, monetarism, growth theory, cyclical analysis, inflation, Keynesian general equilibrium analysis and fiscal and monetary policy issues.

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  • Module content:

    Microeconomics
    Microeconomic insight is provided into: consumer and producer theory, general microeconomic equilibrium, Pareto-optimality and optimality of the price mechanism, welfare economics, market forms and the production structure of South Africa. Statistic and econometric analysis of microeconomic issues.

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  • Module content:

    Macroeconomics
    Application of the principles learned in EKN 214 on the world we live in. We look at international markets and dynamic macroeconomic models, and familiarise the students with the current macroeconomic policy debates. We also take a look at the latest macroeconomic research in the world. The course includes topics of the mathematical and econometric analysis of macroeconomic issues.

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  • Module content:

    Microeconomics
    From general equilibrium and economic welfare to uncertainty and asymmetric information. In this module we apply the principles learned in EKN 224 on the world around us by looking at the microeconomic principles of labour and capital markets, as well as reasons why the free market system could fail. We touch on the government’s role in market failures. The course includes topics of the mathematical and econometric analysis of microeconomic issues.

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  • Module content:

    This module engages the historical emergence of modern African philosophy in relation to the Western canon. The first module traces the history of modern western philosophy as the history of different conceptions of First Philosophy – from the claim that it is epistemology (Aristotle through eg. Kant and Hegel), to ontology (eg Heidegger), to the ethical (eg. Levinas) to the claim that it is the political (eg Grosfoguel, Mignolo). The second module traces the historical process through which the modern African subject is constituted in a struggle for recognition with reference to the work of theorists such as Hegel, Du Bois, Fanon and others.

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  • Module content:

    In this module contextually relevant aspects of human reality are reflected on through philosophy considered as practical activity. Students will engage issues of socio-political relevance in contemporary (South) Africa, the Global South and beyond. The focus is on key themes and texts in debates of contemporary relevance and may include issues from any of the sub-disciplines of philosophy such as political philosophy, moral philosophy and philosophy of science. 

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  • Module content:

    International theory and organisation
    What causes war and peace? Can international order and justice be reconciled? Does the international structure matter? The answers depend on the theoretical lenses through which world politics are viewed. An overview is provided of competing theoretical perspectives of international relations. It includes mainstream and alternative perspectives, as well as the underlying ideas, theories and variants of each. These theories also propose different approaches to global peace, amongst others peace through international organisation. A comprehensive analysis is made of selected international organisations with a universal or regional scope, such as the United Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, and of international law that underpins these organisations and their activities.

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  • Module content:

    Foreign policy and diplomacy
    A short introduction to the study of foreign policy is followed by an explanation of the use of the comparative method and a framework for foreign policy analysis and evaluation. This allows for a comparative study of the foreign policies of selected states from the major regions of the world, amongst others of South African foreign policy. In each case study the policy environment, the formulation and implementation processes, as well as the substance of the particular state’s foreign policy are covered. Thereafter the focus narrows to diplomacy: the oldest, most versatile and universally used instrument of foreign policy. The nature, history, modes of diplomacy and legal framework of the institution are explored. Examples are drawn from global practice, with specific consideration of the evolution of diplomatic practice within the African and South African context.

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  • Module content:

    Counting techniques. Probability theory: Sample spaces, events, rules of probability, conditional probabilities, independent events and Bayes’ theorem. Probability distributions and probability densities: cumulative distribution functions, marginal distributions, joint distributions, conditional distributions and independence. Expected values: Moments, Chebyshev’s theorem, moment-generating functions, product moments, moments of linear combinations of random variables and conditional expectations. Transformation techniques of random variables. Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Special probability distributions: the discrete uniform distribution, Bernoulli distribution, binomial distribution, negative binomial and geometric distribution, the hypergeometric distribution, Poisson distribution and multinomial distribution. Special probability densities: Uniform distribution, gamma, exponential and chi-square distributions, the beta distribution, the normal distribution and the bivariate normal distribution. Functions of random variables. Sampling distributions, point estimation, interval estimation and hypothesis testing. Regression Analysis. Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Political dynamics (Micro)
    The study of the theory and practice of behavioural phenomena in politics. With reference to appropriate examples, the emphasis is on the study of political culture, leadership, communication, interests groups, parties and party systems; on elections, electoral systems, voting behaviour; and on public opinion and direct popular control techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Political dynamics (Macro)
    A theoretical basis and framework is provided for the description, analysis and classification of political and policy problems. The emphasis is on the nature of the state, governance and conflict in Africa. Amongst others a study is made of the issues of colonialism and post-colonialism, democratisation, authoritarianism and the development of the state in Africa, in the context of a globalising world.

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Minimum credits: 160

Students should choose ONE of the following two sequences of Political Sciences modules in Year 3: IPL 310/320 or STL 310/320.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Public finance
    Role of government in the economy. Welfare economics and theory of optimality. Ways of correcting market failures. Government expenditure theories, models and programmes. Government revenue. Models on taxation, effects of taxation on the economy. Assessment of taxation from an optimality and efficiency point of view. South African perspective on public finance.

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  • Module content:

    Economic analyses
    Identification, collection and interpretation process of relevant economic data; the national accounts (i.e. income and production accounts, the national financial account, the balance of payments and input-output tables); economic growth; inflation; employment, unemployment, wages, productivity and income distribution; business cycles; financial indicators; fiscal indicators; social indicators; international comparisons; relationships between economic time series - regression analysis; long-term future studies and scenario analysis; overall assessment of the South African economy from 1994 onwards.

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  • Module content:

    In this module the focus is on understanding humankind and its relation to reality and knowledge. The focus of the module as a whole is philosophical anthropology or contemporary metaphysics, and it trraces the development of the conceptions of ‘self’ and ‘subjectivity’ in any given philosophical tradition in Africa, the West or more generally the Global South by focussing on questions such as the relation between consciousness, self-consciousness and the human unconscious; the meaning of life; the nature of personal identity and the issue of free will. 

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  • Module content:

    In this module students will philosophically engage issues of socio-political relevance in contemporary (South) Africa, the Global South and beyond. A range of themes may be investigated, such as structure and agency, social imaginaries, new social formations, institutional cultures, gender and sexuality, subject constitution, and others. These issues will be be framed in a spectrum of approaches that may include Critical Theory, Theory of Ideology, Contractarianism, Social Action Theory, and Critical Race Theory. 

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  • Module content:

    International political economy
    The nature and functioning of the international contemporary political-economic order are analysed against the background of the process of globalisation. The focus is on the interaction of political and economic trends and issues such as the economic importance and political impact of regional trade blocs; the debt burden of states; international aid; the role and influence of multinational corporations; and the transfer of technology to less-developed countries; the rise of new economic powers in the Global South; and global economic governance.

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  • Module content:

    Security and strategic studies
    A study of traditional and contemporary approaches to security and strategy. Attention is paid to new theories on war, security and strategy; military and non-military security issues and threats; the national security of developing states; as well as the relationship between policy, strategy and tactics. The latter includes an introductory overview of the nature, levels, patterns, forms and instruments of strategy, and the laws of war. The national, regional and continental security situation in Africa and modes of multilateral security cooperation in particular are analysed, also in relation to extra-continental trends. Regarding the aforesaid, emphasis is placed on the legal and institutional framework, national security policy and strategic posture of South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    Political theory
    A theoretical and normative study of political ideas. This includes the study of key political thinkers such as Plato, Thomas Hobbes and John Rawls as well as the contemporary manifestations of ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism and nationalism. This normative assessment of politics concludes with a critical evaluation of the development, nature and practical value of prominent democratic theories including participatory, legal, and deliberative democracy.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: Democratic studies
    A high level critical analysis of democratic theory and practice. The analysis of democratic theory will include themes such as classical, radical, deliberative and feminist perspectives. The analysis of democratic practice will include aspects such as democratisation, democratic consolidation, democratic citizenship and society, the role and importance of civil society, the institutions and procedures for democracy and “good governance”.
    Part 2: Political analysis
    The methods and practice of political analysis is the focus of study. The principles and problems underpinning different approaches and methods of political analysis are described and explained. This includes the nature, methods and use of comparative analysis, forecasting, risk analysis, performance evaluation and the political audit. These analytical methods are positioned in a political and policy context, with emphasis on practical application. Applicable examples and case studies are used throughout.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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